15 April 2021
5.6 kilograms for each horsepower. This power-to-weight ratio was highly impressive for the era of the first-generation BMW M3, and it continues to provide unsurpassed driving pleasure even today. The proof can be witnessed in the new clip for the BMW Classic YouTube series “Our Brands. Our Stories.” featuring the former Formula 1 driver and BMW touring car champion Johnny Cecotto. He demonstrates his skills at the wheel driving a special model named after him on a wet and wintry track at the facilities of the BMW Driving Academy in Maisach near Munich. Only 505 units of the BMW M3 Cecotto were ever built. In 1989, BMW M GmbH launched this special model on the market to celebrate the numerous racing successes by the Venezuelan racetrack supremo achieved in the BMW M3 – with a host of bodywork components manufactured in a lightweight design and a 215 hp 2.3 litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet. Johnny Cecotto expressed his thanks in an inimitable way. In 1992, he was part of the team that drove the BMW M3 to victory in the 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring.
Source: BMW Group archive
In 1981, BMW Motorrad became the pioneer in rider equipment. The company was the first series manufacturer to present a world-first flip-up helmet. The System Helmet I set new benchmarks in the motorcycle world with its flip-up chin section. There was huge demand – also from motorcyclists riding other makes because the innovative flip-up mechanism provided significant additional comfort – and not simply for riders wearing spectacles. At times, BMW Motorrad was selling more helmets than motorcycles. The System Helmet I was sold over the counter around 177 000 times until it was superseded by the BMW System Helmet II in 1989. Over the years, lots of material and technological innovations went into each new generation, contributing to wearing comfort and safety. Alongside the System Helmet, additional benchmarks included NP protectors developed in cooperation with biomechanical engineers and the Neck Brace System to avoid cervical injuries. The Helmet System 7 Carbon with all-carbon helmet shell is a highlight in the current programme of BMW Motorrad rider equipment. As is customary in BMW helmets, its aerodynamic qualities, including the acoustic characteristics, were optimised by wind-tunnel analyses at the aerodynamic test centre of the BMW Group.
The United Kingdom is mourning Prince Philip who passed away at the age of 99 last week. The Consort of the Queen was well known for his close connection with the Royal Navy and his passion for flying. He also had a predilection for appropriately distinguished means of conveyance on the road. The Duke of Edinburgh was responsible for “the best car in the world” being included in the fleet of state cars in the Royal Mews and Rolls-Royce thereby being granted the Royal Warrant to provide motor cars to the royal household. A key factor was a test drive that led to an order being placed for a new official state limousine: the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV.
His victory at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 was a sensation that thrilled the world. Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk drove the Mini Cooper S to victory against what seemed like overpowering competition from significantly bigger and more powerful racing cars. The coup at Monte Carlo had certainly not been forgotten in the year 1994. 30 years after his great triumph at the Monte Carlo Rally, the return of the racing driver from Northern Ireland accordingly attracted considerable attention. Together with his co-driver Ron Crellin, he completed the legendary drive in a Mini Cooper produced at the time. The red paintwork, the white roof, start number 37 and even the number plate recalled the first of three victory drives for the classic Mini in the 1960s. And just like 30 years previously, the classic Mini took the hearts of the spectators by storm on his comeback. Paddy Hopkirk ended the rally ranked 60th in the overall standings. This was a notable success because the winning vehicle in 1994 easily packed three times the power of the Mini Cooper – and it had all-wheel drive into the bargain.